RTW: Literary Cliches

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing or reading related question and answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This Week’s Topic: What are your favorite literary clichés?

Okay, these aren’t necessarily my favorites, but there are several I always notice. Sometimes they’re done so well I’m envious of whoever it was that wrote the piece, and sometimes they totally pull me out of the story and force me to roll my eyes. In no particular order:

The sassy (redheaded) best friend – Best friends are almost always cooler, cuter, smaller and more experienced than the female protagonists they accompany. Often, they’re coppertops too.  

Emerald eyes – Do they exist? They run rampant in literature, YA especially, but I can’t say I’ve ever actually seen someone with eyes the color or emeralds. Or sapphires, for that matter. If you have eyes the color of jewels, I’m jealous.

So bad, yet so good – A la Romeo and Juliet. Or Perfect Chemistry. A couple that should never, ever be, yet they’re so amazingly good together you just wanna root for them.  

Surprise! It was all a dream! – Or multiple personality disorder. Or amnesia. Ugh… it can be so disappointing when this happens. While watching Alice in Wonderland with my daughter a few weeks ago, I had an epiphany: Lewis Carroll’s ending would have infuriated the readers of today.  

Perfect Guys – I’m probably totally guilty of writing flawless males from time to time, but there are a lot of literary heroes who are so darn perfect. Of course, there are a lot who are completely undesirable too (though highly sought after… go figure), which I suppose is a cliché itself.

So, those are mine. What about you? What are the literary clichés that stand out to you?


2 thoughts on “RTW: Literary Cliches

  1. katharine says:

    thank you, for pointing out that jewel-tone eyes are not that common (maybe biologically impossible).
    I remember reading as a kid and thinking “why can’t MY eyes sparkle like amethysts”.
    i didn’t need that pressure.

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